I’m sure everybody has happened across a video file that they couldn’t play on their Mac because it was just unsupported. In the past, the only workaround was to install the player applications for formats such as Real, Windows Media Player, and occasionally additional video codecs (coder/decoders) such as DIVX, 3ivx, etc.

This year (as Allen previously mentioned) saw the introduction of Flip4Mac’s WMV codec, a free decoder for Microsoft’s Windows Media Video format.

One of the biggest advantages of Apple’s QuickTimes software is the ability to extend its supported formats through the addition of various “Components”. Previously, one had to go hunt down the various QuickTime Component versions of the DIVX, 3ivx, and other codecs.

However, those days are over. Perian has been released and is:

a free plugin that enables QuickTime to play almost every popular video format.

With emphasis on the “almost”. You still need Flip4Mac WMV and RealPlayer, but we’re finally down to three!

[via Daring Fireball]

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